Eleven members from the Benton-Franklin team arrived early on a cold, chilly, Wednesday morning at the Richland Dog Park, determined to give the park a fresh, new look. With help from local Boy Scout Troop #228 and the sun at their backs, the team was ready to finish the job quickly. Gloves and shovels in hand, they broke ground, one piece at a time. They removed long neglected patches of grass and replaced them with new sod; holes had to be filled in and flattened to accommodate the new lawn. They cut and arranged the new rolls of sod in a meticulous pattern to allow for proper growth. They distributed the work evenly: while some team members finished the Tetris-like lawn-puzzle, others carted away the old earth. Bolder members took on the role of dog pooper-scoopers, their only reward being the knowledge of what they’d done that day.
Though the work seemed simple, perhaps a day away from the office spent lounging in the sun, it turned out to be sweat-inducing hard work, yet ultimately rewarding. Without the benefit of machinery, they carried each 40-pound roll of sod across barren tracts of earth to its new home. Though some may not have possessed the strength of an Iron Man, their efforts to move over 20 rolls of sod demonstrated the will of the Iron Man. Ultimately, with their constitutions exhausted and muscles sore, even the merest act of lifting a lunchtime slice of pizza above their shoulders proved to be a Herculean challenge, yet they persevered.
By day’s end, satisfaction and accomplishment were hallmarks on the team’s faces. Awakening long dormant muscles through hard physical labor was only one of the day’s rewards: this was not just a community project, but a community beautification project. Volunteer work takes on many forms, and for the Benton-Franklin team, this day of volunteer work would be one to remember…and feel the next day. With the appreciation of Boy Scout Troop 228, Career Path Services had taken on another community-based mission and been successful.
Remember: the next time you find yourself in the Tri-Cities, stop by the Community Dog Park with your pooch and let him stake out some new territory.
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